How to build a profitable podcast.
I have been asked this question so many times.
Podcasts might have gained a lot of popularity recently, but not everyone understands how podcasts work.
The way people understand the concept of podcasts varies. Most people think of a podcast as an on-demand radio show. However, podcasts are more than the stereotypical view.
According to the dictionary a podcast is:
"a digital audio file made available on the Internet for downloading to a computer or mobile device, typically available as a series, new instalments of which can be received by subscribers automatically."
A podcast is an audio web broadcasting that can be listened to whenever and wherever you like.
It could be while you're travelling to the office, relaxing at home, or during a workout.
A podcast is the type of content that allows listeners to do something else while listening, unlike blog posts and videos.
Usually, podcasts have a theme or topic. The most successful podcasts are usually the ones that share in-depth knowledge on a particular niche or genre.
Most of these shows would never succeed on traditional radio as they would be solely judged by ratings numbers rather than the listener's interest and engagement frequency.
Image: Average length of podcast shows
There is a lot of freedom when it comes to podcasts, as creators can produce episodes without being held down by time duration.
The podcast listeners have the power to decide what they want to listen to.
In contrast, traditional radio listeners do not have that level of control over what they want to hear at a particular time.
Most podcasters are focused on getting engagement from a specific type of listener and not about the overall numbers.
Here is a bit of podcasting history for you…
Podcasting started in 2004, and was developed by an MTV video jockey called Adam Curry who worked on the idea with Dave Winter, a software developer.
Adam Curry created iPodder, a program that automatically downloaded internet radio shows into his iPod. This idea caught several developers' attention, and thus podcasting became a thing.
Podcasting is currently not regulated by the government, and podcasters do not need a broadcasting license like traditional radio stations.
This allows podcasters the freedom to use any type of presentation style they want to connect with an audience.
However, there is copyright law relevant to podcasting, as podcasters can copyright their work.
This is where it starts to get confusing for most people interested in the podcast concept.
Starting a podcast is actually quite simple, but can seem complicated without proper guidance.
Here is a summary of how to get started (to get a more comprehensive look into how to start a podcast, check out some of our other blog posts).
Develop a plan:
Now that you have decided you want to go into podcasting, the first thing you need is make a plan.
It's good to have enthusiasm and a will to get started as soon as possible, but without proper planning things could end in disaster.
The first thing you need to do is decide your podcast's topic or theme. It should be a topic you have a vast knowledge of. You need to identify your audience/listeners and know where they are.
You need to answer the following questions convincingly.
What is the goal of your podcast?
What format will you follow?
Do you want to bring guests to the show, or will it be a solo show?
How often do you intend to produce and publish your podcast episodes?
Once you have the answers to all of these, you are on your way to success.
Get the required equipment and learn how to set them up:
As you might already know, podcasting requires some equipment. You might already have microphones, headphones, and a pop filter, but there are other essential things (like editing software), that you will need to source as well. You also need a computer or device to edit your audio.
Prepare to record:
You might be thinking, "I know all there is to know about this already" but you should know there is more to preparing to record than just setting up the equipment. To record a podcast, you need to write your podcast script, and soundproof your chosen recording environment before you set up your recording equipment.
Starting in the podcasting world, you are likely to make errors, and this is why a script is essential to guide you all the way. The awkward silence and ramblings could all be avoided if you have a script.
You need to find the right recording space, which is not too noisy and does not echo. Simple sound-deadening materials like sheets, clothes, bedding or mattresses can be used to muffle echoes and ambient noises.
Production and post-production:
A podcast is not only about recording. To have a properly packaged show you need good production and post-production. This includes standard editing to remove the noises that find their way into your recording session like hiss.
You need to edit your podcast to make it sound as professional as possible otherwise poor audio levels could distract listeners from the message you want to communicate. Other post-production acts like good artwork, publishing, and show notes are also essential parts you must know when starting.
Like I said earlier, this is just summary. To read more about how to start a podcast, click here.
When you are about to start publishing your podcast online, most podcast hosts will ask for your podcast RSS feeds.
You might be confused about why you need an RSS feed to publish your podcast online or if the process is a difficult one.
The full meaning of RSS is "really simple syndication", and it was first created to help internet users get alerts when their favourite blogs published a post.
They did not have to visit each website, all they needed to do was add the blog's RSS feed to a feed aggregator and get all their favourite blogs in one place.
When you generate your podcast RSS feed, your listeners can subscribe to it. This will ensure that they get your podcast episodes on their favourite platform and apps. They do not have to visit your website to listen to new episodes.
A podcast RSS feed is a bit different from the regular RSS feed. For regular RSS feeds, the videos, images and every unnecessary detail goes into the list. But for a podcast RSS feed, you only have the episode details that can go on directories for the listing. You need to have a podcast RSS feed as almost all podcast directories require one.
To generate an RSS feed for your podcast, you need to find a hosting platform for your podcast. Several hosting platforms can help you generate an RSS feed, they include WordPress, RSS.com, bCast, Soundcloud, Squarespace, and several others. Once you upload a new episode, your hosting platform picks it and generates an RSS feed for podcast directories.
A podcast directory means different things to the listeners and the podcasters. Podcasters get to list their show for the listeners to hear it. Several platforms are dedicated to helping podcasters distribute their shows to a bigger audience, from mobile apps to websites.
A podcast directory is all about discovery and organization. For podcasters, this is where they list their shows so the listeners can hear them. Several podcast directories help podcasters distribute their show to a broader audience, from websites to mobile apps.
For listeners, this is where they get to discover new podcast episodes and consume as much as they want. These directories help keep the shows and episodes in an organized manner that is easier to find.
The reason for using a podcast directory is simple - to get to a broader audience. Listeners love how organized and easy it is to find shows on podcast directories. The podcasters also find it easy to distribute their shows as it automatically updates with fresh episodes.
To listen to podcast shows on your iPhone, follow these simple steps
To listen to a particular episode, scroll to find the episode and tap it.
To download an episode for future listening, click on the plus sign at the right of the episode. The plus sign changes to a cloud to show that it is queued for download to your library.
If you want to subscribe to the podcast for automatic downloads of new episodes as they get published, click the "Subscribe" button at the top of the page.
6. After subscribing to some podcasts or downloaded episodes, you can access them by clicking "Library." You can choose episodes to listen to.
One of the significant ways to listen to a podcast on an Android phone is using the Google podcasts app.
To listen via Google podcast
Podcasts are one of the best ways to get in-depth information on a niche you are interested in. You will find a podcast shows for nearly everything you are interested in.